Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997)
Authors: Alec, Noah, Paul, and Felicity

Allen Ginsberg was a widely acclaimed American poet and the leader of the Beat literary movement. He wrote many highly political poems, including “Howl”, one of his best-known works. Ginsberg was born in
Allen Ginsberg with Peter Orlovsky
New Jersey on June 3, 1926 into a Jewish family. His father was an English teacher, and his mother suffered from mental instability. Throughout his childhood, Ginsberg admired Walt Whitman, an American poet and writer. When he became old enough, he attended Columbia University to study labor law. Here he got his love for politics, hence causing many of his poems to be politically based. Ginsberg also led the Beat literary movement in the 1950’s. Its main cultural element included experimentation with drugs, alternative forms of sexuality, an interest in Eastern religion, and a rejection of materialism. His mother died in 1956 in a mental hospital. He continued to write and travel around the world. Writing during this period a well known novel Naked Lunch, in 1959. His poetry remained a great influence on people where ever he went and his recent poems were often published in areas he was visiting. He kept seeing new places dispite growing health problems, like diabetes and the aftereffects
of a stroke. He died on April 5, 1997 in New York from liver cancer. During his lifetime he taught English at the Brooklyn College. Ginsberg also helped to found the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. Allen Ginsberg has become a very impactful poet in the history of America.


In Back of the Real

Allen Ginsberg

railroad yard in San Jose
I wandered desolate
in front of a tank factory
and sat on a bench
near the switchman's shack.

A flower lay on the hay on
the asphalt highway
--the dread hay flower I thought--It had a
brittle black stem and
corolla of yellowish dirty
spikes like Jesus' inchlong
crown, and a soiled dry center cotton tuft‍
like a used shaving brush
that's been lying under
the garage for a year.

Yellow, yellow flower, and
flower of industry,
tough spiky ugly flower,
flower nonetheless,
with the form of the great yellow
Rose in your brain!
This is the flower of the World.

Allen Ginsberg
-Allen Ginsberg


Sources Cited

Allen Ginsberg Photos